Donations are trickling in for The Commercial's Christmas Card Fund that helps children in all four local school districts. For 24 years, the newspaper has sponsored the program which aims to help needy children throughout the community.

Donations are trickling in for The Commercialís Christmas Card Fund that helps children in all four local school districts. For 24 years, the newspaper has sponsored the program which aims to help needy children throughout the community.

Schools see lots of children and families in need year round, not only at Christmas time. Recently, a woman called the newspaper after seeing a story about the annual fund and questioned how she could go about helping her son and family who are destitute.

The city editor explained that the newspaper doesnít hand out proceeds from the fund to individuals but the money is given to Watson Chapel, Dollarway, Pine Bluff and White Hall school districts at the end of the year. Itís up to the districts to decide how the money is used to help needy children in their schools.

Over the years, educators have seen the fund go towards a variety of uses such as for coats, shoes or school uniforms for children who couldnít afford such necessities. Sometimes, the fund has been used to buy eye glasses or medicines or even for family emergencies such as when a family has a house fire.

The fund is promoted between Thanksgiving and Christmas and all proceeds are divided between the four local school districts to help less fortunate children. Thousands of dollars have been raised throughout the years. Thereís no administration costs at the newspaper and all the proceeds go to the schools.

As of Wednesday afternoon, $543 had been donated toward the fund.

Participants who contribute at least $1 by Dec. 16 will have their names published on a Christmas Card in the newspaper which will run before Christmas Day. Interested donors may send contributions to The Commercialís Christmas Card Fund, c/o Pine Bluff Commercial, P.O. Box 6469, Pine Bluff, AR, 71611. Donations may also be brought to the office at 300 Beech St., weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.